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High Profile Publicist Travelling Cool Places Doing Interesting Things

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hanging out in Beverly Hills, 90210 (*No, REALLY!)

So now let me tell you about my day in Beverly Hills.

I know this sounds weird but I really didn’t expect to like Beverly Hills much.

I mean it’s pretty much Rodeo Drive, right?

That's all I really knew about it before my first trip there, pretty much...and I’ve never been
one to get too excited by fancy labels so all those insanely overpriced high end flagship
Rodeo Drive stores would definitely not be for me even if I wasn’t there on a non luxury
budget... That kind of thing isn't where I normally spend my money - and I don't lust after
those products and labels every (though, true confession, I did see a cute purse or two in
black and red on Rodeo -- but the price tags to me are hilarious....

So though I may have been the only traveller in Beverly Hills that day who had never dreamt
of shopping on Rodeo... of COURSE I had to take pictures up and down the street of all the fancy stores ...especially because my friend Tracey P. had told me that her awesome daughter Em was watching from afar.

One thing that really did surprise me was that it felt like Rome. Yeah, Rome.

I’ve actually been to Rome (way back when I was 21, many moons ago!) that’s not what the vibe I expected in Beverly Hills...but it obviously is built to kind of feel like that - especially the area by the famous fountain that apparently has appeared in a ton of different movies ... They said it was major scenes in the movies Pretty Woman and Clueless ...

There’s a restaurant here - right on the corner that is the actual 90210 zip code... and so of course I had to stop in to take a picture. I sat on the famous steps by the fountain brushing out my bright red extensions (sewn into my bright red hair) preparing for the selfies...

So, yeah.. this exact corner is the postal code 90210. (A show I must admit I've only ever seen one episode of, way back when it was new to TV and my roommate at the time was into it)....
(Covid 2020 Update, I watched a few episodes of it since, after "Donna:" (Tori Spelling) sent us this video telling us Beverly Hills misses us as much as we miss it as we at Lamourie Media wait it all out on Hamilton Mountain!) Check that video out right HERE.

Then I decided to walk a little bit more... speaking of selfies - it was really very funny - EVERYone was doing selfies in Beverly Hills. Hilariously, there was a local ad campaign on local benches etc, “Get Over Your Selfie,” talking about the dangers of getting hurt or distracted or causing accidents that hurt others  to get their Beverly Hills selfie… which made total sense as you'd see not just tourist selfies but wanna be models and actresses getting their middle of the road all dressed up the nines walking down Rodeo Drive with bags swinging shots -- not selfies, model and camera person trying to do an impromptu pro photo shoot between cars driving by! Check out that campaign here : Get Over Your Selfie Campaign

Which didn’t stop me from getting some great Beverly Hills selfies…

Karen had dropped me off earlier at a little Starbucks like but not Starbucks coffee chain
with a nice little patio with a box of paper bags to label for the VIP gift bags for the upcoming
party that was the reason we had come to the City of Angels. Karen had to head back up to
Hollywood Hills to the hair of her actress client (she stars in BOSCH among other things)
who had also agreed to be one of the models for our VIP party later that week.

Instead of sitting around watching someone get their hair done I figured I’d spend some
time in a part of Los Angeles that I hadn't got to the year before - so I had her drop me off
in Beverly ("Hills that is...swimming pools and movie stars..." ) or coffee shops and parks
as the case may be!

Anyway I ordered a flavoured iced tea or two and enjoyed it on the patio while I was labelling
my bags soaking up the beautiful California sun and listening to some interesting
conversations on the patio held by people who kinda looked and acted like I should
recognize them - but I didn’t.

I was definitely enjoying my time in the warm weather thinking about my friends and
family back home in still freezing Canada in April (where I knew I would be back again
within just a few days...

Finished my work labelling the VIP gift bags, I realised I had several hours before Karen was
coming back to collect me. I had lots of time to wander and discover Beverly Hills (it's not
very big you can literally walk around the whole place and back in a leisurely hour or so) but
I had a bit of a problem that would impede that plan!

Here I was in the middle of BH carrying a big cardboard box full of labels and bags - not really
the most convenient to be lugging around...and not really the look I was imagining walking
around Rodeo! Karen texted me with an idea. She suggested that I should ask the people
at the coffee shop if they would mind if I left the box with them for awhile...

I thought there’s no way they’re going to say yes...after all I’m stranger and it’s Beverly Hills.
Why would the people working in this swanky place want to babysit my random box?
Funnily enough, it worked - and here is how!

Sadly, the day before I broke one of the nails that I had so carefully had done in Toronto
before leaving for Hollywood in my signature red and black.

So there I was in picture perfect Beverly Hills with nine perfect nails and one broken one.

“I’m supposed to meet my client here in my nail just broke and we have an event tonight...
is there anyway I can leave this with you so I can run down the street and get this nail fixed"
I said, while looking extremely Beverly Hills distressed. The manager of the coffee shop had
commiserated with me right away and said of course. NICE! Now I was free to walk the
streets of Beverly Hills unencumbered by a large cardboard box packed full of VIP party invites.

So I headed back down Rodeo and it wasn't more than a minute before I saw two nail
salons within a few doors of each other. I chose the one called Beverly Hills Nail Salon-
yeah you got it - just for the selfie value! (I know, I know - like the signs all over town say,
"Get Over Your Self!" Still though...

Here's what I said on the socials as the nice lady was doing my nails : "Nine of these nails were
done in Toronto and one was done in Beverly Hills. What?? Did you think I was gonna get my
nail repair done in plain old Hollywood???

The #SamePrice at the end was because earlier m
y client, Karen, had earlier that it would
likely cost 25$ US dollars to get just one nail repaired in Beverly Hills.... lol! But actually
once again Cali prices surprised me - because even in the land of swimming pools and movie
stars the price was pretty much comparable to Toronto (other than that 30% US dollar
exchange rate.) It cost me five US dollars to repair a single nail in Beverly Hills. It normally costs 3 dollars
I think. Sure, almost double the price but still under five bucks, so I wasn't complaining.

Especially as I got to sit and enjoy the high style BH vibe.... and I gotta say it was pretty cool
when all the fancy Beverly Hills ladies in the salon complimented me on my signature red and
black nail design.

Now with 10 nails properly represented - and another selfie at the door -

I was ready to go back and explore Beverly Hills little bit more. I still had a couple hours before
I had to meet my client.

One of my favorite areas was walking up the little hill where the Versace store is and a bunch
of others if you keep on walking to the end - this area is called the Walk of Style - there's a little
restaurant (called 208 Rodeo) on the actual corner where the postal code is 90210 (they make
mention of that on the sign and the menu though it's not otherwise stupid, just a nice little mid to
high end restaurant with a little patio overlooking the stairs and at the bottom and to the right
that famous fountain from Clueless and all the movies...

But just before I got to the end, as I was walking up that little incline past Versace and just
feeling the vibe of the place I found the coolest little treasure. Galerie Michael at
224 N Rodeo Drive. Described as an "Upscale gallery showcasing European fine
art from the 17th century to the present," and that is certainly the case. I hadn’t heard about this
art gallery anywhere and it was easy to miss I just happened to glance down and see a poster
advertising and exhibit a Picasso art originals and then noticed it said happening now on Rodeo
Drive. Wait a minute, I'm on Rodeo right now... looking around, it turned out I was just steps
away from the art gallery.

Grateful for a sudden surprise artistic escape from the retail excess Capital of the world,
and curious as to what might be in there, I went inside.

It was an additional surprise and pleasure to discover that the entire gallery was free to walk
around and enjoy. Not only was there an amazing collection of Picasso originals as well as lithos

...but it also had an extensive collection of art from other old masters as well as modern art from
people like Dali and even Bernie Taupin, Elton John's song writer.

I spent nearly an hour in the gallery enjoying myself taking pictures of the art. I was still amazed
that this was free in the heart of Beverly Hills, and even more so how welcoming the gallery owners
or the people what worked there were. Not a moment where they made you feel out of place, or
inquired whether you had the income to buy any of this art. They greeted me warmly, asked
if I had ever been to the gallery before, pointed out some of the exhibits, and told me to enjoy
my time. I told him how much I appreciated finding this artistic even in the middle of retail heaven
– or hell – depending on your perspective. I wandered around through the rooms alone just
contemplating being this close to these works I have never seen by some of the Masters of art
of the 300 years as well as modern times - laid out here for the rich to purchase after buying
something at Versace or Gucci down the street.

When I felt like ti was time to leave the art world I'd suddenly lost myself in and return to
the streets of Beverly, I headed back out, walking down Rodeo. Like everyone else, doing the
selfie thing. I woulda just loved to walk down Rodeo smoking some fine cannabis - that I had
purchased at MMJ Dispensary, Hollywood) as I walked past all those fine stores with my super
fine self ...


it is not legal to smoke cannabis outside in California (or at least Los Angeles, I haven't actually
been anywhere else in California so I'm not exactly sure if it's the same throughout the state
now that i think of it) - even though the weed is legal there. And Beverly Hills - well I'm pretty
sure someone will stop you… And I didn’t want to run into any issues, being there on business
travel with a a client and all.

Wandering the streets turning randomly down this one and then down that one, I found myself
At the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce (stopped there for a selfie, what can I say, I'm a
Publicist it's what we do! And then I was suddenly right in front of the Beverly Hills Tourist
Information Centre- and because I am me, and this is what I do, I grab every magazine and
tourist brochure that looks interesting...

One of the little brochures I picked up at the tourist office had a little map that showed me
Beverly Gardens Park was just at the end of the street on the corner of Rodeo and - oh, I
don't remember what… If you want to wait here a minute I’ll Google it and find out 1 second…
That would be Rodeo and Santa Monica Boulevard.

I sat on the bench in front of the park with the Beverly Hills Park sign  behind me and like a
local -picked up the local weekly newspaper - The Beverly Hills Courier - and sat down for a
little read about community events in "my" local park...

Then I walked up to take a closer look at the amazing trees - I don't know exactly what kind they are but
maybe you can tell from the pics -Wikipedia says the park features "many hundred-year-old cypress
and ficus trees" - whatever they are they are quite impressive, and they’re not quite as big as the
ones I had seen when I had travelled on business with my family the month before and got to visit
Land Of The Giants near Negril in Jamaica in the mountains in the jungle, but if I’ve never seen those
I would’ve been amazed by these. I was anyway!

Took some pictures.
And I have to confess that’s why I pulled out one of those joints went out to smoke in public
even though cannabis is legal in California. Now like I’ve mentioned before here’s the conundrum.
You can legally purchase cannabis however you cannot smoke it at the hotel there are no vapor
lounges and you cannot smoke it in public. You see the problem?

But I can turbo smoke ninja cannabis. So I took out a pre-roll and keep my eyes open ...

It was a thin little joint, so in only a few puffs it was gone and just in time just as I
dropped it while with one hand I was still taking it out the selfie to his pictures I see
some uniform park ranger looking guy way off in the distance so I finish it up and throw it out
and keep taking my selfies and by the time he walks by I'm just looking like an innocent
tourist, and if there’s a pleasant cannabis smell around - well, I certainly don’t
know anything about it ! Just to make sure I reach out to him and say "Hey can you tell me
where blah blah is ...he smiled, he pointed it out - I went on my way and so did he.

After I smoked when I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and decided to grab
something to eat and Beverly Hills for Karen came back to pick me up. For some reason I chose
a basic deli that I’ve never heard of I really didn’t think it was anything special - in fact after I
sat down I thought I should have looked for some iconic Beverly Hills Pl. instead.

Well turns out it was one of the most iconic Beverly Hills places I could’ve chosen.

Called Nate and Al’s - it is a New York style deli and I mean an authentic New York style deli –
I mean they serve you pickles a soon as you sit down – serving the Beverly Hills community
for more than 50 years. I’ve heard more about it since apparently they were going to close
down and Beverly Hills reacted with horor before some locals saved it.

When I got back to Ontario, a few weeks later, I was watching an episode of the
Kaminsky method which actually referred to Nate and Al’s.

What did I eat there? Well it was a deli I had your classic deli sandwich with a pickle and it
was stellar.

Yep now I know how the other half lives.

I’m famous for never even eating an entire meal so I took half the with me to go. Which means
in my kitchen months later I have a little plastic container that says meet in Al’s.

I know I think it was about time to go back and check on that box of VIP bags that I left over
there at the coffee shop so I messaged Karen she said she probably be done in a half hour or
so I head it on back to the coffee shop ...
The box was still there and the :-) manager smiled and
handed it right to me.

I ordered another flavoured iced tea and took my seat back on the patio.

I called Karen who said it would still be about an hour before she got there but since i had
already reclaimed my box I was pretty much committed to sitting on the Beverly Hills patio
and just enjoy watching the people go by.

Who can complain about sitting on a patio in Beverly Hills for an afternoon.

Not me! Here is my "I can’t believe I find myself in Beverly Hills face!"

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